Antimicrobial Peptide Functionalized Bacterial Cellulose for Wound Dressing Applications

E.M. van Zyl, J.M. Coburn
Worcester Polytechnic Institute,
United States

Keywords: wound dressing, bacterial cellulose, antimicrobial, peptide


Introduction: Bacterial-derived cellulose (BC) has been studied as a promising material for wound dressing applications due to its biocompatibility, water holding capacity, liquid/gas permeability, and handleability properties [1]. Although BC has been studied as a dressing material for cutaneous wounds, to date, antibacterial properties have not been effectively incorporated into the cellulose material [2]. Tethered antimicrobial peptides (AMP’s) may overcome the limitations associated with conventional antibiotics and antiseptic agents, such as bacterial resistance .Bifunctional synthetically synthesized peptides can be created using carbohydrate-binding peptides (CBP) to immobilize AMPs (e.g., KR12) to the surface of BC to aid in the prevention of wound infection while also altering the inflammatory environment. Results, Discussion, and Conclusions: Spectrophotometric analysis of short CBP-KR12’s binding potential indicated ~ 40% binding efficiency to BC samples (Figure 1A), indicating that the short CBP retains its binding potential regardless of the addition of KR12. This was further supported by the increase in BC surface fluorescence (Figure 1B), which was observed to be stable over a 7-day period (data not shown). Surface functionalized BC and untreated BC exhibited no statistical difference in cellular viability compared to the TCP controls (Figure 1C). Tethering the peptide to the BC surface may reduce the overall cytotoxicity of the peptide as untethered short CBP-KR12 exhibits high cytotoxicity at 5-10 µM (data not shown). The AMP tethered to the BC surface retains its anti-bacterial activity as indicated by the bacterial regrowth assay. BC functionalized with short CBP-KR12 exhibited statistically significant reduction in E. coli growth of 25% as compared to unfunctionalized BC (Figure 1D). Overall, synthetically synthesized short CBP-KR12 retains the cellulose binding capabilities of the short CBP, and the antibacterial capabilities of KR12. Tethering the AMP provides a promising method for creating an antibacterial functionalized BC surface with reduced mammalian cell cytotoxicity. Ongoing research includes assessing the retained anti-inflammatory activity of tethered KR12 through macrophage activation analysis and endotoxin binding activity potential. References: [1] Ullah H. Cellulose, 2016, 23, 2291-2314. [2] Zeng R. Cell Tissue Res, 2018, 374, 2017-232. See included PDF for additional information and figures.